BMC issues notice to Mumbai NGO for ‘misrepresenting facts’ on malnutrition in civic schools
Mumbai city news: Praja Foundation had, earlier this year, revealed that despite an extensive mid-day meal programme, a third of the children in schools run by BMC are malnourished.mumbai Updated: Jul 14, 2017 13:47 IST
The deputy municipal commissioner of the civic body has issued a notice to NGO Praja Foundation for mis-representing facts in their data on malnutrition in BMC schools. Calling NGO Praja’s report a farce to malign the public body, the deputy commissioner has demanded a public apology or threatened the NGO with legal action.
Praja Foundation had, earlier this year, revealed that despite an extensive mid-day meal programme, a third of the children in schools run by India’s richest municipal corporation in the country’s richest city are malnourished. The report that quotes the corporations own data, obtained through a right-to-information request, pointed out that malnutrition has increased more than four times in Mumbai, from eight per cent in 2013-14 to 34 per cent in 2015-16.
“It seems like while preparing this report you have ignored the procedural change involved in screening for malnutrition, which was based on age and weight of the child till 2013-2014, whereas in 2014-15 and 2015-16, screening for malnutrition was based on height and weight. Accordingly, comparison of 8% in 2013-14, 26% in 2014-15 and 34% in 2015-16 is not appropriate,” said Milin Sawant, DMC (education) in the letter.
Officials further said that the data was used by the NGO conveniently without bringing the fact of procedural change in screening in public domain.
“It appears from the language used in your foreword, that the aim of the whole exercise was to malign a public body. This has completely shaken the credibility and robustness of your report and your organisation,” the officials said.
Nitai Mehta, Founder and Managing Trustee of the Praja Foundation, in the foreword of the report had written, “We cannot compare Mumbai to Shanghai if many wards in the city have malnutrition rates worse than sub-saharan Africa.”
The letter further mentions that NGO Praja foundation should issue a public explanation or public apology, and if not, be ready to face legal action.